Banish that body odour

Muggy monsoon days can mean excessive perspiration. And with that comes body odour. Fortunately there are ways to combat this problem and stay fresh even on the most humid days.

Sniff, sniff, is that me?

Body odour can make any one very self-conscious; turn off those around and generally cause some very awkward moments. Since persistent body odour carries a social cost, it needs to be tackled quickly. Sniff out the problem and take necessary steps to check it.

What is body odour?

Body odour or bromhidrosis happens due to growth of bacteria on the body. As sweat increases, bacteria multiply fast and cause body odour. Sweat has no smell of its own. The odour comes from other factors like gender, genetics, health, diet, medication etc. It varies from person to person and is unique to each individual, which is why sniffer dogs are used to track down a person involved in a crime.

Common causes for body odour:

• Ill health and lack of hygiene can cause body odour.

• When the liver and kidneys do not perform well, toxins linger in the body, and they make their way out through the pores on the skin.

• Constipation is a common cause of body odour.

• Strong spicy food (onion and garlic) can also cause body odour.

• Tobacco can give you bad breath, as can alcohol. Even strong medicines like antibiotics leave traces in the body which a sensitive nose can catch.

Prevention and treatment of body odour:

There are some simple things you can do to deal with body odour.

• Eat healthy food that contains lots of fibre, whole grains, wheat, soy products and vegetables.

• Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily.

• Wear soft and absorbent cotton clothes in the summer.

• Body odour clings to clothes. Wash your clothes everyday, especially socks and undergarments. Try not to repeat the same outfit without washing.

• Wash hair frequently.

• If your underarms sweat a lot, consider defuzzing and avoid sleeveless clothes.

• Vinegar can neutralise underarm odour. Apply white vinegar doused in cotton (not on freshly shaved skin as it may sting).

• You could also go in for a deodorant or antiperspirant. There are many varieties available in the market today – from sprays to roll-ons. Find one that suits your lifestyle and apply it on your underarms after your morning shower. It might also be a good idea to carry it to work or college and freshen up at some point during the day.

• Apply eau de cologne to pulse points, to mask odour.

• To smell fresh add a teaspoon of alum or rock salt or Epsom salt to bath water.

• You could also use aroma oils in bath water.

• Use antibacterial soap or herbal soaps while bathing.

• Keep feet clean and dry. Dust with foot powder. Wear well-ventilated footwear in summers.

• If possible, wash your underarms, groin and feet often to keep them clean and prevent odour.

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